Ulladulla is expected to have a new Marine Rescue base up and running before the start of the next boating season.
During a visit to the area last Wednesday Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mike Gallacher inspected the charred remains of the building that was destroyed by fire in October last year.
He welcomed the news that the rebuilding process would commence soon on a new, purpose-built facility, with the doors expected to open by September.
Mr Gallacher told the Times he spoke to unit commander Ken Lambert immediately after the fire and was pleased to be able to visit the site to see for himself the damage done.
He said Marine Rescue volunteers did a “tremendous job on the water” and explained that “from the ashes would rise a new building that members have been involved in designing”.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos and general director Jim Glissan QC also visited the site with Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock and a group of local and regional volunteers.
Mr Tannos explained that the charred and unstable bank behind the building would need to be addressed before rebuilding work could begin.
He said the steep slope covered with charred vegetation was a hazard, but removal of the trees could pose more of a risk for a new complex.
The difficult slope, coupled with damage to nearby building, the Christmas holiday period and nearby busy car park had held up work on the site.
The damaged building was demolished before Christmas and the site has been fenced off since, with volunteers operating their rescue service from a nearby makeshift base nearby.
As well as inspecting the site and discussing how to move forward, Mr Gallacher and Mr Tannos presented the unit with two GoPro cameras that will be used to film training and rescue operations.
Mr Gallacher said the waterproof video cameras would help promote the great work that Marine Rescue volunteers do and also document training and rescues.
He said footage could be uploaded on to the unit’s website and published in local media to help attract more members and provide recognition for the volunteers who risk their lives to help those in trouble off our coast.
Mr Lambert thanked the dignitaries for their visit and explained how supportive the Milton-Ulladulla community has been of the unit since the fire.
The blaze occurred after a bin was sit alight alongside the harbour headquarters in the early hours of Sunday October 6, destroying the complex, including a new training room opened in May, and the neighbouring Gondwana Coast Fossil walk building.
Mr Gallacher said investigations were continuing into the cause of the fire and urged anyone with information to contact Shoalhaven Police.